John Deere looking into use of oversea plants as strike continues

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 10:29 PM CST
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Iowa (KCRG) - The UAW strike continues against John Deere more than three and a half weeks after after the two sides failed to reach an agreement by the strike deadline in October.

With more than 10,000 workers still on the picket line, John Deere is taking steps to keep production moving with its customer service continuation plan. It has brought in thousands of salaried workers to keep the production line operating to ensure it can meet customer demands during the harvest season.

“If something breaks, that’s our first objective,” says Corey Reed, President of Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division, Production and Precision Ag for John Deere, “Our longer-term objective is to get our employees back and get them operating these facilities like they know how to operate them and maintaining that continuity of service with our John Deere employees going forward.”

To keep up with that demand, it’s also exploring options at its plants overseas. “In the quad cities, combines, the same S-Series combine is built in 3 different factories both in the US, in Brazil, and in Europe. So, we have a supply base that cuts across all three of those,” says Reed.

John Deere is encouraging employees to look closer at the latest contract it offered union members on strike.

Meanwhile, hundreds of union members and supporters gathered at an unsanctioned, informational picket at Deere Headquarters in Moline, trying to put forward a message of unity. “It’s not to tell them to vote no, or to vote yes. It’s, you know, we’re all still a part of the same thing here. We’re still a part of the same fight, whether it gets voted down or it gets voted in. We’re still a part of the same fight together,” said picket organizer Shannon Olsson.

The UAW declined to comment, but a spokesperson did say it continues to appreciate the communities support for the striking members and their families.

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